For a little while longer at least, the trans people of Arizona can breathe, and well, relieve themselves, easier. The preposterous amendment proposed by Arizona State Representative John Kavanagh (R) to force people to prove that they are using the bathroom that matches their “actual” sex is being put on the back burner, at least until next year. This amendment has quite a history. First introduced as an amendment to SB 1432, using the bathroom of the gender that you identify with as opposed to the gender that you may have come into the world as would have been a misdemeanor under disorderly conduct.
Due to the amazing outcry from LGBTQA community as well as the public at large, Representative Kavanagh took the measure off the table. However, the following Monday, he introduced a watered down version of the discriminatory amendment onto a separate bill, SB 1045. In this version of the amendment, as opposed to criminalizing an entire section of society, the law would provide a legal protection to any business that choose to ask for proof of a person’s sex – and give them the right to have you arrested if you could not prove it. When this amendment started to also cause an outcry, Representative Kavanagh was quick to point out that though bathrooms were included; this amendment was more to protect the sanctity of locker rooms and showers.
He has a fear of what he refers to as “the transgender ruse.” The Transgender Ruse as Kavanagh explains it to be is when someone goes into the locker rooms or showers with an ulterior motive in mind, not because of their gender identity. In his view, any younger girl who may be in a locker room or public shower with a male who identifies female could be in danger or scarred from this experience. He has admitted that yes, this is a law to punish the trans sect of Arizona Society due to others discomfort.
Though he had no statistics or episodes to back up this ruse theory, he was sure that there are weirdos out there who may do this. He also went on to state that he can think of no law or right that, guarantees the right to privacy – which is a terrifying road for any state to go down when considering laws.
This amendment had a seven hour discussion and passed the committee hearing with a 7-4 vote that split right down the party line, the 7 Republicans voting yay and the four Democrats voting nay. However, as of June 5, 2013 Representative Kavanagh announced the above mentioned shelving of the proposed bill for now, as even members of his own party raised issues with the legality of some of the proposals in the amendment.
Hopefully before this bill is reintroduced, the supporters will hear the cries of the trans* society of Arizona and their allies who worry not about an unproven transgender